Data, tools and systems

Charities, social enterprises and funders need access to the best data, tools and systems to measure their social impact well. Substance leads Inspiring Impact’s work to develop the infrastructure needed to ensure the sector can review, access and use the best quality data, tools and systems.

Read about current projects under this theme below.

Online impact marketplace research and feasibility study

Impact measurement is currently hampered by the lack of a mature market for impact measurement tools—questionnaires, survey tools, or performance management systems. New tools are emerging that vary in quality and usability, and work is needed to bring the most robust and useful tools to the market. An increasing number of charities and social enterprises seek off-the-shelf tools and systems, but lack the skills to select the right one.

The demand is there and supply is growing too, but we need the infrastructure to help charities and social enterprises review relevant tools, make informed decisions about which are right for them, and purchase them in a smooth, efficient way. There are several ways we could do this: for example building an online directory or impact marketplace, making use of search engine optimisation, social media, wiki and semantic web technologies.

We are researching and testing the feasibility of these different options, looking at the scale of demand, scale of supply, and potential for sustainability. We are currently prototyping an online marketplace that will make tools available for planning, managing, measuring and reviewing your impact.

If you have developed a tool, system, website, report, guidance or service that might be used to improve the impact practice of the UK voluntary sector or even if you know about or use such a resource, we’d like you to tell us all about it. After an extensive period of consultation we have settled on an initial template for describing the resources to be listed and have produced an online survey to help us capture the required information.

There will be further and ongoing opportunities to add new resources and to edit the information provided but if you want your favourites listed from the start please tell us all about them by following this link. Please complete a fresh survey for any resource you want to have listed and feel free to share this link with colleagues. The survey will remain open until Friday 15th November in the first instance.